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21 April, 2024
 
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Pediatric hospital battles epidemic surge in child respiratory cases

Over 95% occupancy as Makarios hospital faces onslaught of respiratory infections in young patients

Newsroom

Makarios Hospital in Nicosia is grappling with over 95% occupancy, primarily treating children with respiratory infections amid an epidemic that recurs in the child population every three to four years, according to Dr. Avraam Elia, Director of the Pediatric Department.

As of Friday, the hospital is currently caring for 33 children, with three confirmed COVID-19 cases and four with Influenza A. However, the majority are suffering from respiratory infections, particularly the RSV virus (Respiratory syncytial), affecting mainly infants. Shockingly, 50% of those hospitalized are under 12 months old.

Dr. Elia highlighted an increase in hospitalizations due to severe microbial pneumonia from pneumococci in the last year. He attributed this rise to the diminished effectiveness of available vaccines, noting the impending availability of new vaccines against pneumococci in Cyprus.

Speaking to CNA, Dr. Elia revealed an uptick in hospitalizations of infants and toddlers with Influenza A, along with a surge in COVID-19 cases among children, emphasizing that the mutation causing these infections appears to result in milder symptoms for the child population.

The current situation is deemed manageable, with plans in place for potential increased hospitalizations. The pediatric clinic's capacity is designed for 36 children, with provisions to expand to 40 if needed. Daily admissions reach up to ten, balanced by around ten discharges, in this peak period for RSV infections, expected to last until the end of January and the beginning of February. Dr. Elia acknowledged the coexistence of various viruses among children, suggesting a recurring epidemic every three to four years.

[Information sourced from CNA]

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Cyprus  |  health

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